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Campaign launched for tougher gun laws in Switzerland

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Campaign launched for tougher gun laws in Switzerland
Stock photo: George Frey, Getty Images North America/AFP
12:48 CEST+02:00
A new platform composed of left-wing politicians, police officers and psychiatrists is pushing for Switzerland to follow the European Union in tightening controls on guns.

Representatives of the Social Democratic Party (SP), the Swiss police officers association VSPB/FSFP and the Swiss federation of psychiatrists and psychotherapists FMPP joined forces on Thursday ahead of a debate on the issue in parliament, the Tribune de Genève reported.

The EU parliament approved a revised gun law last year designed to close security loopholes and introduce tighter controls on blank-firing and inadequately deactivated weapons like those used in the Paris terror attacks.

On March 2nd the Federal Council issued a message on a “pragmatic implementation” of the EU legislation in Switzerland in response to the terror attacks in Europe.

It said the focus was on limiting access to semi-automatic weapons with a large magazine capacity and improving the exchange of information in the Schengen area that includes Switzerland.

The government’s message will now be debated by the two chambers of parliament.

While supporters of gun ownership in Switzerland oppose the proposed tighter legislation and have threatened to call a referendum, the new platform backs even stronger controls on guns.

In particular it wants to limit access to fire arms in order to reduce their use in domestic crimes where the victims are most often women.

Max Hoffman of the police officers association told news website Watson police were campaigning for the EU legislation to be adopted in Switzerland as “violence is becoming ever more brutal” in the country.

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